The legislative power in France is vested in a parliament, le Parlement, which is comprised of two bodies:
L’Assembl?©e nationale, or National Assembly, which is directly elected by the French people; and
Le S?©nat, which is indirectly elected by the citizenry.
As provided in Title V, Article 34, of the Constitution (English – unofficial translation), the legislature’s power to enact laws is limited to the following areas:
capacity of persons
crimes and criminal procedure
Laws on all other subjects are considered regulatory in nature and are promulgated by the executive, pursuant to Title V, Article 34, of the Constitution of 1958.
The Official Journal
The official gazette for France is the Official Journal, or Journal officiel, commonly referred to as the JO. Laws come into force upon publication in the JO.
A search of the most recent JO will reveal details of changes in existing laws or newly enacted laws. An unofficial version of the JO is also available for reference. The unofficial version offers searching as well as yearly indexes beginning in 1996.
Regulations, from the executive, also appear in the JO, as do ratified treaties.
The JO has a long history, beginning with as a semi-official journal in 1799, then evloving into the JO in 1880.